GM Prizm/Nova 1985-1993 Repair Guide

Halfshafts

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



1985-88 Vehicle With VIN Code 4 Engine and 1989-92 Prizm

See Figures 1 and 2

  1. Remove the wheel cover.
  2.  
  3. Remove the cotter pin, hub nut cap, hub nut and washer.
  4.  
  5. Loosen the wheel nuts.
  6.  
  7. Elevate and safely support the car.
  8.  
  9. Remove the front wheel.
  10.  
  11. Remove the lower control arm to ball joint attaching nuts and bolts.
  12.  
  13. Use a ball joint separator such as GM J-24319-01 or equivalent to remove the tie rod ball joint from the knuckle.
  14.  
  15. Remove the bolts holding the brake caliper bracket to the steering knuckle. Use stiff wire to suspend the caliper out of the way; do not let the caliper hang by its hose. Remove the brake disc.
  16.  
  17. Using a puller such as GM J-25287 or equivalent, push the axle from the hub.
  18.  

The Prizm axle can be separated from the hub using a brass or plastic hammer. Nova requires the use of the puller.



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Fig. Fig. 1: Using GM tool to remove axle from the hub - 1985-88 VIN Code 4 engine



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Fig. Fig. 2: Using a slide hammer and adaptor to remove the driveshaft from the transaxle - 1985-88 VIN Code 4 engine

  1. Use a slide hammer and appropriate end fitting (GM J-2619-01 and J 35762 or equivalents) to pull the driveshaft from the transaxle. Remove the shaft from the car.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Install shaft into transaxle. If necessary, use a long brass drift and a hammer to drive the housing ribs onto the inner joint.
  2.  
  3. Install the shaft into the wheel hub.
  4.  
  5. Install the lower control arm to the lower ball joint. Tighten the nuts and bolts to 59 ft. lbs.
  6.  
  7. Install the tie rod end to the steering knuckle and tighten the nut to 36 ft. lbs.
  8.  
  9. Install the brake disc; install the brake caliper and tighten the bolts to 65 ft. lbs.
  10.  
  11. Install the wheel.
  12.  
  13. Install the hub nut and washer.
  14.  
  15. Lower the vehicle to the ground.
  16.  
  17. Tighten the wheel lugs to 76 ft. lbs. Tighten the hub nut to 137 ft. lbs.
  18.  
  19. Install the nut, cap, cotter pin and washer. Install the wheel cover.
  20.  

1985-88 Nova With VIN Code 5 Engine
  1. Raise the front of the vehicle and support it with jackstands. Remove the tires.
  2.  
  3. Remove the cotter pin and locknut cap.
  4.  
  5. Have an assistant step on the brake pedal and at the same time, loosen and remove the bearing locknut.
  6.  
  7. While the assistant is still depressing the brake pedal, loosen and remove the 6 nuts which connect the halfshaft to the differential side gear shaft.
  8.  
  9. Remove the brake caliper and position it out of the way. Remove the brake disc.
  10.  
  11. Remove the 2 retaining nuts and then disconnect the lower arm from the steering knuckle.
  12.  
  13. Use a 2-armed puller and remove the axle hub from the outer end of the halfshaft.
  14.  
  15. Remove the halfshaft.
  16.  

To install:
  1. Place the outboard side of the shaft into the axle hub and then insert the inner end into the differential. Finger tighten the 6 nuts.
  2.  


WARNING
Be careful not to damage the boots during installation.

  1. Install the lower arm to the steering knuckle and tighten the bolts to 47 ft. lbs.
  2.  
  3. Install the disc and reinstall the caliper and bracket. tighten the bolts to 65 ft. lbs.
  4.  
  5. While an assistant depresses the brake pedal, tighten the 6 nuts holding the axle to the side gear shaft to 27 ft. lbs.
  6.  
  7. Install the hub nut and washer.
  8.  
  9. Install the wheel.
  10.  
  11. Lower the vehicle to the ground.
  12.  
  13. Tighten the wheel lugs to 76 ft. lbs. Tighten the hub nut to 137 ft. lbs.
  14.  
  15. Install the nut, cap, cotter pin and washer. Install the wheel cover.
  16.  

1993

See Figures 3 through 10


WARNING
Care must be exercised to prevent the differential-side joint from being over-extended. When either end of the shaft is disconnected, over-extension of the differential-side joint could result in separation of internal components and possible joint failure.If the vehicle is to be lowered to the ground and moved, the front wheel bearings must be supported with a9/16inch (14 mm) bolt, one 13/4inch (44.45 mm) washer, one 2 inch (50.8 mm) washer, and a9/16inch (14 mm) nut assembled through the shaft opening in the hub; tighten the nut and bolt to 40 ft. lb. (54 Nm).On vehicles equipped with antilock brake systems (ABS), use caution not to damage the ABS speed sensor ring on the wheel-side joint. DO NOT pry against the ABS speed sensor ring with metal tools when removing the wheel-side joint from the steering knuckle. If the serrations on the ABS speed sensor ring appear damaged, replace the wheel-side joint.

  1. Disconnect the negative (-) battery cable. Raise and suitably support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the 6 bolts and splash shield from the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the 1 retaining bolt and the ABS speed sensor from the steering knuckle, if equipped, and set aside.
  6.  
  7. Remove the front tire and wheel.
  8.  
  9. Remove the cotter pin and lock cap from the drive axle.
  10.  
  11. Remove the drive axle nut from the drive axle.
  12.  
  13. Remove 1 cotter pin from the tie rod end.
  14.  
  15. Remove 1 nut from the tie rod end.
  16.  
  17. Remove the tie rod end from the steering knuckle using tool J 6627-A or equivalent.
  18.  
  19. Remove 1 bolt, 2 nuts and separate the ball joint and steering knuckle from the control arm.
  20.  
  21. Remove the wheel-side joint from the steering knuckle.
  22.  
  23. Remove the differential-side joint from the transaxle by gently prying the differential-side joint housing away and out of the transaxle.
  24.  

To install:
  1. Inspect the differential-side and wheel-side joint boots for tears or deterioration. Replace as necessary.
  2.  
  3. Inspect the front wheel bearing inner and outer oil seals fro damage or deterioration. Replace as necessary.
  4.  
  5. Inspect the drive axle shaft fluid seal at transaxle for leakage or damage. Replace as necessary.
  6.  
  7. Install the differential-side joint into the transaxle.
  8.  
  9. Install the wheel-side joint into the steering knuckle.
  10.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: Front wheel bearing support



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Fig. Fig. 4: ABS speed sensor ring



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Fig. Fig. 5: ABS speed sensor



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Fig. Fig. 6: Cotter pin and lock cap

  1. Install the ball joint and steering knuckle to the control arm; secure with 2 nuts and 1 bolt. Tighten the ball joint-to-control arm bolt and nuts to 105 ft. lbs. (142 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install tie rod end to steering knuckle.
  4.  
  5. Install the 1 nut to tie rod end and tighten the tie rod end nut to 40 ft. lb. (54 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install new cotter pin into tie rod end.
  8.  
  9. Install drive axle nut onto drive axle shaft. Tighten the drive axle nut to 159 ft. lbs. (216 Nm)
  10.  
  11. Install the lock cap onto the drive axle; secure with new cotter pin.
  12.  
  13. Install the front tire and wheel.
  14.  
  15. Install the ABS speed sensor into steering knuckle, if equipped, and secure with the 1 bolt. Tighten the ABS speed sensor retaining bolt to 71 inch lbs. (8 Nm).
  16.  
  17. Install the splash shield to vehicle and secure with the 6 bolts. Tighten the splash shield bolts to 71 inch lbs. (8 Nm). Lower the vehicle.
  18.  
  19. Connect the negative (-) battery cable.
  20.  
  21. Inspect the toe adjustment and adjust as necessary.
  22.  



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Fig. Fig. 7: Ball joint to control arm bolts and nuts



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Fig. Fig. 8: Removing the wheel side joint from the steering knuckle



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Fig. Fig. 9: Removing the differential side joint from the transaxle



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Fig. Fig. 10: Example of tie rod and wheel stud puller tool

CONSTANT VELOCITY (CV) JOINT OVERHAUL



The drive axle assembly is a flexible unit consisting of an inner and outer Constant Velocity (CV) joint joined by an axle shaft. The inner joint, because of its tri-pod design, is completely flexible and allows the joint to flex left/right, up/down and compress/extend while the shaft is turning. This range of motion is necessary to allow the car to accelerate during all possible positions of the front wheels.

Because of the inner joint's flexibility, care must be taken not to over-extend the joint during repairs or handling. When either end of the shaft is disconnected from the car, any over-extension could result in separation of the internal components and possible joint failure.

The outer joint, being fixed into the hub, does not require the extreme flexibility of the inner joint. The outer joint is a Rzeppa design (named for its inventor) and allows left/right motion while the axle is turning.

CV joints are protected by rubber boots or seals, designed to keep the high-temperature grease in and the road grime and water out. The most common cause of joint failure is a ripped boot which allows the lubricant to leave the joint, thus causing heavy wear. The boots are exposed to road hazards all the time and should be inspected frequently. Any time a boot is found to be damaged or slit, it should be replaced immediately. This is another very good example of maintenance being cheaper than repair; replacement boot kits are far less expensive than replacing a whole new joint.

Whenever the driveshaft is held in a vise, use pieces of wood in the jaws to protect the components from damage or deformation.

1985-88 Vehicle With VIN Code 4 Engine and 1989-92 Prizm

See Figures 11, 12 and 13

  1. Remove the axle and mount in a vise so that the outer joint may be worked on.
  2.  
  3. Remove the boot retaining clamps. Slide the boot out of the way, exposing the joint.
  4.  
  5. Use snapring pliers to release the race retaining ring. Pull the shaft from the cage.
  6.  
  7. Using a brass drift, gently tap on the bottom of the cage until it tilts enough to all the first ball to be removed at the top.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 11: Removing ball bearing assembly

  1. Continue removing other balls is a similar fashion.
  2.  
  3. Rotate the cage and inner race 90° and remove the cage and inner race.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 12: Removing the cage and inner race

  1. Clean and inspect all parts. The slightest imperfection on either the balls or the race will require replacement of the components. Look for any scratches, cracks or galling of the metal.
  2.  
  3. Position the driveshaft in the vise so that the inner joint may be worked on.
  4.  
  5. Remove the boot clamps. Slide the boot back, exposing the joint.
  6.  
  7. Remove the tri-pot housing from the axle shaft.
  8.  
  9. Remove the spacer ring with snapring pliers.
  10.  
  11. Use a brass drift and hammer to gently tap the joint assembly towards the center of the axle.
  12.  



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Fig. Fig. 13: Removing the spider assembly from the shaft

  1. Remove the outer driveshaft snapring.
  2.  
  3. Remove the spider assembly from the axle by tapping it off with a brass punch and hammer. Apply force evenly around spider.
  4.  

The spider assembly and axle should have factory alignment marks showing. Also note the marks on axle shaft and tri-pot housing. If no marks are present, make matchmarks before disassembly.

  1. Remove the boot.
  2.  
  3. Disassemble the spider assembly into its component parts of retainer, ball, needle bearing and spider.
  4.  
  5. Clean all parts thoroughly and inspect for wear, damage or corrosion. Replace any component which is not in virtually perfect condition.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Reassemble the spider assembly
  2.  
  3. Apply molybdenum grease liberally to tri-pot housing and spider.
  4.  
  5. Install the new boot onto the axle shaft and install a new small clamp.
  6.  
  7. Using the brass drift and hammer, install the spider assembly onto the shaft.
  8.  
  9. Install the outboard snapring, then tap the tri-pot assembly down over the snapring.
  10.  
  11. Install the spider assembly and drive axle assembly into the tri-pot housing.
  12.  
  13. Install the boot over the joint and secure the new large clamp.
  14.  

Boot clamp pliers and installing tools such as GM J-35556 and J-34773-A make this job much easier.

  1. Position the axle shaft so that the outer joint may be worked on.
  2.  
  3. Install the cage into the race with the retaining ring side of the inner race facing the transaxle side of the shaft.
  4.  
  5. Pack the joint liberally with molybdenum grease and install the cage and inner race at 90° into the outer race.
  6.  
  7. Tip the race and install the 6 balls.
  8.  
  9. Install a new boot onto the shaft.
  10.  
  11. Install the race retaining ring on the shaft.
  12.  
  13. Insert the shaft into the inner race and make sure that the retaining ring is properly seated.
  14.  
  15. Fit the boot over the joint and install new boot clamps.
  16.  
  17. Check both joints for freedom of motion and lack of binding.
  18.  

1988 Nova VIN Code 5 Engine

See Figures 14, 15, 16 and 17



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Fig. Fig. 14: Driveshaft components - 1988 Nova with VIN Code 5 engine

  1. Remove the boot retaining clamps.
  2.  
  3. Using paint or a scribing tool, place matchmarks on the tri-pod housing and driveshaft. Do not punch the marks into the metal.
  4.  
  5. Remove the tri-pot housing from the driveshaft.
  6.  
  7. Use snapring pliers to remove the shaft retaining ring.
  8.  
  9. Use a punch and hammer to matchmark the driveshaft and spider.
  10.  



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Fig. Fig. 15: Correct placement of matchmarks before disassembly

  1. Remove the spider assembly from the drive shaft with a brass punch and hammer.
  2.  
  3. Remove the boot from the inner joint.
  4.  
  5. If working on the right axle, remove the driveshaft damper.
  6.  
  7. If working on the right axle, remove the outer joint boot.
  8.  
  9. Check the inside and outside of the seals for damage.
  10.  
  11. Clean all parts thoroughly and inspect for wear, damage or corrosion. Replace any component which is not in virtually perfect condition.
  12.  

To install:
  1. Reassemble the spider assembly.
  2.  
  3. If working on the right axle, temporarily install a new boot and new clamp to the outer joint.
  4.  
  5. If working on the right axle, install the drive shaft damper with a new clamp. Place the clamp in line with the groove of the driveshaft.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 16: On the right side axle, make certain the damper retaining ring is in the groove - 1988 Nova with VIN Code 5 engine

  1. Temporarily install a new inner joint boot and new clamp to the driveshaft.
  2.  

The boot and clamp for the inner joint are larger than those for the outer joint.

  1. Position the beveled side of the spider splines toward the outer CV joint. Align the matchmarks made earlier and tap the spider onto the driveshaft with a brass punch and hammer.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 17: Observe the matchmarks when installing the spider onto the shaft

  1. Install a NEW shaft retaining ring.
  2.  
  3. If working on the right axle, pack the outer joint boot with molybdenum grease. (Capacity is 0.25-0.30 lbs).
  4.  
  5. Install the boot over the joint.
  6.  
  7. Pack the tri-pot joint and boot with molybdenum grease. Correct capacities are: Manual transaxle, 0.35-0.40 lbs. and Automatic transaxle, 0.40-0.50 lbs.
  8.  
  9. Align the matchmarks made earlier and install the tri-pot housing onto the drive shaft.
  10.  
  11. Install the boot over the joint.
  12.  
  13. Be sure each boot in on the shaft groove. Bend each boot clamp into place and secure it.
  14.  
  15. Check both joints for freedom of motion and lack of binding.
  16.  
  17. Check that the boots are not stretched or compressed when the axle is in a normal or at rest position.
  18.  

1993

See Figures 18 through 35

During differential-side and wheel-side joint service, index marks (reference marks) should be placed on the differential-side joint housing and the drive axle shaft as well as the Tri-Pod joint spider, wheel-side joint and drive axle shaft to ensure that all components are installed in the same position from which they were removed. If this precaution is not observed and the components are installed in a different position, uneven or premature component wear may result.

  1. Remove the large differential-side boot clamp from the differential-side boot by drawing the clamp hooks together using tool J 35566 or equivalent.
  2.  
  3. Remove the small differential-side boot clamp from the differential-side boot. Temporarily slide the differential-side boot toward the center of the drive axle shaft. Place an index mark (reference mark) on the differential-side joint housing and drive axle shaft to ensure correct assembly.
  4.  
  5. Remove the differential-side joint housing from Tri-Pod joint spider. Place an index mark (reference mark) on the Tri-Pod joint spider and drive axle shaft to ensure correct assembly.
  6.  
  7. Remove the 1 snapring and Tri-Pod joint spider from the drive axle shaft.
  8.  
  9. Remove the differential-side boot from the drive axle shaft.
  10.  
  11. Remove the large wheel-side boot clamp from the wheel-side boot.
  12.  
  13. Remove the small wheel-side boot clamp from the wheel-side boot.
  14.  
  15. Remove the wheel-side boot from the drive axle shaft. Place an index mark(reference mark) on the wheel-side joint and the drive axle shaft to ensure correct assembly.
  16.  
  17. Remove the wheel-side joint from the drive axle shaft by expanding the wheel-side joint snapring.
  18.  

Do not disassemble the wheel-side joint. If any abnormality is found in the joint, replace it as an assembly. Do not disassemble the Tri-Pod joint spider.If any abnormality is found in the Tri-Pod joint spider, replace it as an assembly.Do not wash drive axle boots in solvent. Washing drive axle boots in degreaser or other solvents causes deterioration of boots. DO NOT wash the Tri-Pod joint spider in degreaser. Washing the Tri-Pod joint spider in degreaser will remove all lubrication in the Tri-Pod joint spider needle bearings. Clean the Tri-Pod joint spider assembly and drive axle boots with a clean, dry, solvent-free rag.

To install:
  1. Clean the differential-side and the wheel-side boots with a clean, dry, solvent-free cloth.
  2.  
  3. Clean the tri-pod joint spider and the wheel-side joint with a clean, dry, solvent-free cloth.
  4.  
  5. Inspect the differential-side and the wheel-side boots for tears, damage or fatigue. Replace as necessary.
  6.  
  7. Inspect the Tri-Pod joint spider for excessive wear or damage. If any excessive wear, damage or abnormality is found, replace the Tri-Pod joint spider as an assembly.
  8.  
  9. Inspect the wheel-side joint for excessive wear or damage. If any excessive wear, damage or abnormality is found, replace the wheel-side joint as an assembly.
  10.  
  11. Inspect the dynamic dampener on the right drive axle shaft for damage or distortion. Replace the right drive axle shaft as necessary.
  12.  
  13. Align the reference marks on the wheel-side joint and drive axle shaft made during wheel-side joint removal.
  14.  
  15. Install the wheel-side joint onto the drive axle shaft by expanding the wheel-side snapring and slide wheel-side joint onto the drive axle shaft. After installing the wheel-side joint onto the drive axle shaft, make sure the wheel-side joint snapring is securely seated into the groove in the drive axle shaft.
  16.  
  17. Install the wheel-side boot onto the drive axle shaft. Temporarily install the large and small wheel-side boot clamps onto the drive axle shaft. Do not crimp. Pack the wheel-side joint with approximately 4.6-5.3 oz. (130-150 g) of black grease provided in the wheel-side boot kit.
  18.  
  19. Install the small wheel-side boot clamp onto the wheel-side boot using tool J 22610 or equivalent.
  20.  
  21. Install the large wheel-side boot clamp onto the wheel-side boot using tool J 22610 or equivalent. Temporarily install the large and small differential-side boot clamps onto the drive axle shaft. Do not crimp.
  22.  
  23. Install the differential-side boot onto the drive axle shaft.
  24.  

When installing the Tri-Pod joint spider onto the drive axle shaft, place the Tri-Pod joint spider onto the drive axle shaft with the short sided splines facing toward the differential-side boot (away from transaxle).

  1. Install the Tri-Pod joint spider onto the drive axle shaft aligning reference marks made during disassembly; secure with Tri-Pod joint spider snapring. Pack the differential-side joint housing with approximately 8.1-8.8 oz. (230-250 g) of the lubricant provided in the differential-side boot kit.
  2.  
  3. Install the differential-side joint housing onto Tri-Pod joint spider aligning reference marks made during disassembly.
  4.  
  5. Install the small differential-side boot clamp onto the differential-side boot using the tool J 22610 or equivalent.
  6.  

When installing the large differential-side boot clamp, use tool J 35566 or equivalent to draw the closing hooks of the clamp together so that the clamp locks into position.

  1. Install the large differential-side boot clamp onto the differential-side boot using tool J 35566 or equivalent.
  2.  
  3. Inspect both boots for distortion or dents. Correct by pulling outward on the boot in the desired areas until all boot deformation is corrected.Do not pull outward on the differential-side joint housing. If the housing is pulled, the joint may become over-extended and detach from the drive axle.
  4.  
  5. Measure the standard drive axle length to ensure that the boots are not stretched or excessively contracted when the drive axle is at standard length.

    Right drive axle - 33.756 inches (857.4 mm)
     
    Left drive axle - 21.268 inches (540.2 mm)
     

  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 18: Removing the large differential side boot clamp



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Fig. Fig. 19: Removing the small differential side boot clamp



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Fig. Fig. 20: Marking the differential side joint housing and drive axle shaft



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Fig. Fig. 21: Marking the tri-pod joint spider and drive axle shaft



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Fig. Fig. 22: Removing the tri-pod joint spider snap ring



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Fig. Fig. 23: Removing the tri-pod joint spider



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Fig. Fig. 24: Removing the differential side boot



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Fig. Fig. 25: Removing the large wheel side boot clamp



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Fig. Fig. 26: Removing the small wheel side boot clamp



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Fig. Fig. 27: Marking the wheel side joint and drive axle shaft



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Fig. Fig. 28: Removing the wheel side joint



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Fig. Fig. 29: Aligning the reference marks for assembly



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Fig. Fig. 30: Packing the wheel side joint



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Fig. Fig. 31: Crimping the small wheel side boot clamp



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Fig. Fig. 32: Installing the tri-pod joint spider



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Fig. Fig. 33: Packing the differential side joint housing



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Fig. Fig. 34: Installing the large differential side boot clamp



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Fig. Fig. 35: Measuring the drive axle assemblies

 
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